Leon County School District announced on Tuesday that it is withdrawing from the appeal process to challenge a ruling in favor of the Department of Health’s ruling that prevents mask mandates from being implemented in schools.
“While we continue to believe in our right to make decisions that are overwhelmingly supported by our community, we no longer believe it is prudent for us to peruse a short-term legal remedy to determine where the line is drawn between state rights and the rights of our local school system,” said Leon County Schools Superintendant Rocky Hanna on Twitter. “We will continue to look for other avenues to advocate for home rule and local control in the future.”
Hanna also added that he will continue to look for other methods of advocating for home rule and local control in the future. An administrative law judge rejected on Nov. 5th a challenge to the state Department of Health rule preventing student mask requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The challenge was comprised of the school districts from Alachua, Broward, Duval, Miami-Dade, Orange, and Leon counties.
The sextet of school districts filed a joint appeal just an hour after the initial ruling, though Leon County was the first to rescind their role.
Leon County Schools’ departure comes as a surprise move as less than 24 hours ago the lead attorney representing the six school districts filed a motion to expedite the appeal.
Leon County Schools began initial compliance with state ruling on Nov. 3rd, as announced by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Twitter. I’d like to sincerely thank [Leon County Schools] for reversing their mandatory mask policies by empowering parents,” said Corcoran. “Let’s keep working together to provide students a world-class education.”
Now in line with state governance, Leon County Schools will receive all of the funding withheld by the state for its dissent, including the salaries of school board members.